In 2021, The Trust for Public Land, a non-profit organization with a mission to “create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come”, ranked the St. Petersburg’s parks system #1 in Florida and #14 nationally per its ParkScore® index.
The Trust for Public Land – ParkScore® Index
The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® index is considered the national gold-standard comparison of park systems across the 100 most populated cities in the United States. Published annually, the index measures park systems according to five categories: access, investment, amenities, acreage, and equity.
St. Petersburg’s Score
The Trust for Public Land gave St. Petersburg a 78 out of 100 in investment and 78 out of 100 in equity. According to the ParkScore® index, “75% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park” in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg also ranked higher than several major cities across the country known for outdoor and active lifestyles including San Diego, Denver and Austin. For more details about St. Petersburg’s ParkScore®, visit www.tpl.org/city/st-petersburg-florida.
History of St. Petersburg’s Parks
The city has a long-standing tradition of providing its citizens and visitors with quality of life amenities.
Per its website we learn: waterfront parks emerged 100 years ago with the preservation of our waterfront by our forefathers, William Straub, Peter Demens and Perry Snell. They wanted every resident and visitor to have access to the waterfront. In the 1950s, the first recreation center began with a lawn bowling and shuffleboard club at Mirror Lake. Soon after St. Petersburg became known for its many beautiful parks and recreation facilities. As the city grows, so do the opportunities for activities in all its’ neighborhoods. The legacy continues today with 17 recreation facilities, nine swimming pools, over 180 parks, over 70 athletic fields and programming for all ages and abilities.
National Accreditation: On March 19, 2010, the City of St. Petersburg’s Parks and Recreation Department became one of only ninety agencies in the country currently holding national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. National accreditation requires parks and recreation agencies to respond to 155 standards representing elements of effective and efficient parks and recreation operations.
14% of St. Petersburg’s city land is used for parks and recreation.
Three Most Popular St. Petersburg Parks
Crescent Lake Park: 1320 5th Street N.
Has over 56 acres of parkland with a baseball field, tennis courts, playgrounds, pickle ball courts and a dog park. Great for walking and jogging around the lake.
North Straub Park: 400 Bayshore Drive NE
Is a waterfront park with scenic views of Tampa Bay. It’s known for its trails for walkers, joggers, and bikers. Great playground for kids and exercise area for adults. With nearly 5 acres of lush landscaping, the park hosts many events including art, music and food festivals.
Vinoy Park: 701 Bayshore Drive NE
Is an 11.6-acre waterfront park. It’s a popular place for fitness and offers recreation trails along the waterfront for walkers, runners, and bikers. The park has some of the most scenic views in St. Petersburg and is a popular spot to rent for hosting festivals, sporting events, and concerts. Great play areas for children, benches to sit and dolphin watch.
Bottom Line: With over 180 parks, St. Petersburg is a great place for families and people of all ages to recreate and educate themselves on their relationship to the natural world.
The best parks to visit in St. Pete
Visions of Eden: ENVIRONMENTALISM, URBAN PLANNING, AND CITY BUILDING IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, 1900–1995, by R. Bruce Stepenhson
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one and are thinking of selling, talk to The Mesimer Team.
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol